Neiman Marcus names Ralph Lauren exec to succeed CEO Karen Katz

Struggling luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group Ltd on Friday named Ralph Lauren Corp executive Geoffroy van Raemdonck to succeed Karen Katz as its new chief executive next month.


Geoffroy van Raemdonck - Photo: LinkedIn


Katz will retire on February 12, and will remain on the board of directors.

Chairman of the Board David Kaplan said: “As CEO, Karen helped establish Neiman Marcus as a digital leader in luxury fashion and retail and put the Company on a path for long -term growth. We are extremely grateful for her vision and significant contributions, which have spanned over 30 years at the Company, including the last seven as CEO, and look forward to continuing our work together on the Board.”
 
“We are thrilled to welcome  Geoffroy  to  Neiman Marcus and look forward to  extending the  Company’s positive momentum under his leadership,” Kaplan added. “He is a  global  industry leader  and  business builder  with  exceptional  vision  and  energy . The entire board is confident that Geoffroy’s  leadership will add significant value to the Company, our partners and our customers.”
 
Van Raemdonck joins the company from Ralph Lauren, where he served as Group President for EMEA and Global Travel Retail at Ralph Lauren, spearheading an omnichannel transformation.

His resume also includes time spent at French luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton from 2008 to 2013 and Victoria’s Secret owner L Brands Inc.

The move to replace Katz comes as the up-market chain continues to struggle with a nearly $5 billion debt load mainly due to its leveraged buyout in 2013, when Ares and Canadian public pension fund CPPIB acquired it from other private equity firms.

Like other retail chains, Neiman Marcus is struggling to reinvent itself as customers increasingly prefer online shopping to brick-and-mortar retail. Same-store sales rose for the first time in two years in its latest quarter, as efforts by Katz to invest heavily in its online business paid off.

Katz will be eligible to receive nearly $2.5 million as a lump sum following her retirement as CEO and another $1 million before March 14, 2019, Neiman Marcus said in a regulatory filing.

Van Raemdonck’s annual base salary will not be less than $1 million, the company said.
 
 

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